Who am I?
Hey, my name is Mark Koh 👋
Currently based out of Golden, Colorado I split most of my time between working on music recommendation systems at Spotify, shooting concert and adventure photography, and doing high-adventure sports like highlining, climbing, and skiing.
Outside of that, I do a lot of things on the side such as designing high-end smokeware, refining my cooking skills by dialing in recipes to a meticulous level, crafting furniture, and trying to become as handy as my landlord Paul.
A little bit more about my career path
I'm originally from Connecticut, but like the "pretty much New York" part of Connecticut. I got my boating license when I was 9 years old and spent far too much time on Candlewood lake when growing up. During my youth I was involved in Boy Scouts, Theater, Computer Club, and had a nice stint working at the Bicycle Center.
I went to school at Drexel University in Philladelphia where I studied Computer Science and Software Engineering. I also spent all five years of my undergrad working in the Music, Entertainment, and Technology Laboratory (aka: the MET-Lab) where I researched audio analysis and made some robots dance. I also lead a senior design team to build a concert-video app called JamJar which wound up taking home first place in the Senior Design Competition.
Drexel also had an awesome programmed called the Co-Op program which gave me 18 months of real-life work experience prior to graduating. My co-op experiences ranged from front-end web dev to database kernel development, to full stack data analytics tooling. During my junior and senior year, I also co-founded a (now defunct) startup called Booksmart where I built a tour management application for Musicians.
By the end of my time at Drexel, I realized that my interests in software rested at the intersection of data analysis and music technology. And so landing an analytics job at Spotify right out of school was basically a dream for me. I came into Spotify as a backend engineer working on the company key metrics and data cataloging, but within a year I decided to transfer into the music recommendations team where my background lied.
Over the course of 6+ years at Spotify I've formally transitioned roles from Backend Engineer ➡ Backend/Data Engineer ➡ Backend/Data/Machine Learning Engineer and worked on many of the systems that power my favorite features such as Discover Weekly, the Home Page, Daily Mix, Search, and so much more! I've been known at Spotify to work on ambitious, multi-year hack projects and design training courses for engineers who want to expand their skills.
Who knows what the future will hold for me, but one thing is certain: I will continue to follow my curiosity and build things that I would love to see exist in the world :)